The use of Hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 remains controversial, but a recent study has found out that the drug helps lower the death rate of COVID-19 patients.
A Henry Ford Health System study showed that hydroxychloroquine helps lower the death rate of COVID-19 patients, after analysing 2,541 patients hospitalized.
The study found 13% of those treated with hydroxychloroquine died while 26% of those who did not receive the drug died.
Among all patients in the study, there was an overall in-hospital mortality rate of 18%, and many who died had underlying conditions that put them at greater risk, according to Henry Ford Health System. Globally, the mortality rate for hospitalized patients is between 10% and 30%, and it’s 58% among those in the intensive care unit or on a ventilator.
The study, published in the International Society of Infectious Disease, found patients did not suffer heart-related side effects from the drug.
Patients with a median age of 64 were among those analyzed, with 51% men and 56% African American. Roughly 82% of the patients began receiving hydroxychloroquine within 24 hours and 91% within 48 hours, a factor Dr. Marcus Zervos identified as a potential key to the medication’s success.
“We attribute our findings that differ from other studies to early treatment, and part of a combination of interventions that were done in supportive care of patients, including careful cardiac monitoring,” said Zervos, division head of infectious disease for the health system who conducted the study with epidemiologist Dr. Samia Arshad.
Other studies, Zervos noted, included different populations or were not peer-reviewed, and cautioned against extrapolating the results for treatment outside hospital settings and without further study.
The study is vital, Zervos said, as medical workers prepare for a possible second wave of the virus and there is plenty of research that still needs to be conducted to solidify an effective treatment.